As I went through my stuff to sell it off, I saw everything in painful detail. All the partially started projects were devastating to look at. I didn't want to make them any more because the paper was out of style or I had moved on to another type of craft. Worse were the projects I never started. I needed to have 4 different types of oversized monogram alphabets for my family members' initials… why? So I could give them to the Goodwill four years later? So many things I had to have right now for this specific project that I never even did anything with. Buy. Store. Get in Debt. Repeat. I made myself go through every craft supply I had stored with a fine-toothed comb. EVERYTHING. I started this process in October 2013. I finally finished in March 2015. The process took a long time because, yes, there was alot of stuff, but also there were alot of emotions tied up in the things. I'd look at something I bought. I'd think about how excited I was to have it. I'd think about how I would tell myself that we can save more money the next paycheck so I can get this thing now. I'd think about how I stored the thing because I never had time to use it. I'd think of the credit card debt I had racked up for stupid purchases I never used. I was paying for a place to store it AND paying interest on it. STUPID! I'd try to remember when I bought it. 2007? Earlier? 2004? Yes, it was 2004 because that is the price sticker from Jolyn's store… oh Jolyn! I miss her, hope she is doing well. Wow, that was a crazy time, when I had no idea even what CHA was… Oh, and these stickers where the sticky part isn't sticky anymore must be from Pink Pineapple because of the hot pink sticker. Wow, those were the days… Why did I buy 6 packs of these?! Why did I stop teaching classes? Oh the burritos from that place next door were so good! I miss cropping with everyone, Gloria, Kristie, Teri … All of these kinds of thoughts went through my head as I sorted. I dumped an incredible amount of stuff (truckloads, yes MULTIPLE) in December 2013 from all of my cabinets and donated it to Charity Wings. But I still had so much more. I saw Elena from Charity Wings at Scrapbook Expo last weekend. I gave her the last of the things I had too much of so she could sell them in her booth. That is one redeeming thing in all of this – at least Charity Wings was a local organization I could support with all of this stuff that had essentially gone to waste. Going to the Charity Wings Art Center is a surreal experience for me. Even interacting with Charity Wings is surreal. I get to visit my stuff, but I get to see it in action, being used for good. Everything has come full circle. At the Scrapbook Expo, a lady was putting these leaf shaped beads on her make n take from a bowl at the Charity Wings table. I donated those beads in 2013. They were leftover from classes I taught to caregivers through a grant from Inland Caregivers (now defunct). I hung on to them for years, thinking I would make something and I didn't. Now, some lady made a cute adorable wreath with them and she doesn't know the difference of the journey those beads have been on. And I feel good that the beads are making someone happy. The other thing that happens when I go to Charity Wings is that I get a mental kick in the pants. I see thousands of dollars of furniture and stuff I have donated. It's a joke in our family but I actually do go around the store and ask myself out loud, ” Do I love this or will it be at Charity Wings in 6 months?” I'd rather write a check to Charity Wings than fuss with making a box of stuff they may or may not be able to use and then having to drive it two hours down to the Art Center. On Monday I went to Target for a few things and to get stuff for a craft project and I had about 20 items in my cart. I put 17 of them back. I asked myself why I was buying those things:
- Do I LOVE it?
- Price aside, do I absolutely want this for me?
- Do I see myself donating this in 6 months?
- Do I see myself using this regularly?
- Do I already have something that does the same job?
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